· At the same time the Report all but ignores the deliberate strategy of Hamas of operating within and behind the civilian population and turning densely populated areas into an arena of battle. By turning a blind eye to such tactics it effectively rewards them.
· The Report barely disguises its goal of instigating a political campaign against Israel, and in its recommendations seeks to involve the Security Council, the General Assembly the International Criminal Court, the Human Rights Council, and the entire international community in such a campaign.
The Mandate of the
· The one-sided mandate of the Gaza Fact Finding Mission, and the resolution established it, gave serious reasons for concern both to
· It also troubled many distinguished individuals, including former High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson, who refused invitations to head the
The Conduct of the
· These concerns were exacerbated by the conduct of the
· The unprecedented holding of telecast hearings also gave cause for concern. The fact that all the witnesses were prescreened and selected, and none were asked questions relating to any Palestinian terrorist activity or the location of weaponry and terrorists in civilian areas only supports concerns that they were part of an orchestrated political campaign.
A "non-judicial" document
· Justice Goldstone as Head of the
Elements Ignored by the Report:
· The Report all but ignores the deliberate terrorist strategy of operating in the heart of densely populated civilian areas which dictated the arena of battle. Even when the Hamas terrorists mixed among civilians, the Report rejects the notion that there was an intention to put the civilian population at risk.
· Astonishingly, despite the many widely reported instances in the international press of the abuse of civilian facilities by terrorist groups, and the statements of Hamas own leaders praising women and children who acted as human shields, the Report repeatedly stated that it could find no evidence of such activities. This, even despite its admission that those interviewed were "reluctant to speak about the presence or conduct of hostilities by the Palestinian armed groups".
· The Report also ignores
· While the Report passes judgment against
· Even the thousands of rocket attacks against Israelis which necessitated the Gaza Operation are given the most cursory treatment, and indeed the Report indirectly blames
Rejection of democratic values:
· In a Report which relies so heavily on Israeli human rights organizations and which also petitions on sensitive security issues to
· The Report is also critical of
· The Report's recommendations are as one-sided as its findings. It seeks to harness the Human Rights Council, the Security Council the General Assembly, the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights and the International Criminal Court and the international community as parts of its hostile political campaign.
· Despite token recommendations in respect of the Palestinian side, all the international pressure is directed solely against
· The true test of such a Report can only be whether in future conflicts it will have the effect of increasing or decreasing respect for the rule of law. Regrettably a one-sided report of this nature, claiming to represent international law, can only weaken the standing of law in future conflicts. At the same time, it will broadcast a deeply troubling message to terrorist groups wherever they are that the cynical tactics of seeking to exploit civilian suffering for political ends actually pays dividends.
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